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Wilkes-Barre Township to Welcome New Businesses After Tornado

WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A vacant lot, a once-thriving shopping strip demolished by a tornado and a closed down restaurant that’ll soon transfor...

WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A vacant lot, a once-thriving shopping strip demolished by a tornado and a closed down restaurant that'll soon transform into a popular fast food chain. A lot of changes are coming to Wilkes-Barre Township.

"I think that's good because it brings more people, more jobs for people, so I think that's a good idea. I really do," said Kathleen Hutson of Kingston.

According to township officials, work on the former Lucky's Sportshouse will begin later this month as it transitions into a Chick-fil-a.

There are plans in place to build a four-story, 100-plus room hotel next to Mohegan Sun Arena right off of Interstate 81.

Plus, following last June's tornado, Panera Bread is expected to return to Wilkes-Barre Commons and a bbq joint could go in at the Arena Hub Plaza.

"I think it would attract more people to the area. I think it would build up the surrounding economy," said Ryan Wagner. "I think with some of the surrounding areas that aren't doing to best right now, especially with the tornado that just came through here, I think to rebuild would be a positive for everybody."

On the corner of Route 309 and Blackman Street, the plan is to knock everything down and build a brand new Turkey Hill. That project is slated to begin in the spring of 2020.

"I think because there's a lot of area open right now, it'd be great to see more stores and more businesses coming into the area," said Robert Stashko of Berwick.

There are still numerous hurdles for the projects to jump, but if everything goes according to plan Wilkes-Barre Township will have some new additions in the near future.